Nokia X review
It was the no surprise of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Weeks before its launch, the rumors of a Nokia terminal with the Android operating system began to jump. Despite losing the surprise factor, he was one of the protagonists of the last edition of this fair.
He's already here with us. It can be said that it has been one of the most curious smartphones that has passed through our analysis table. It is an Android mobile, with the appearance of Windows Phone and the experience that Nokia offers. A combination of three variables that make the Nokia X a unique terminal. Now, is this terminal the economic reference mobile? We go with our review to solve this question and many others.
The Finns were not very transparent, making clear the technical specifications of the Nokia X. Of course, when they announced that the starting price would be 89 euros, it was clear that the components that we were going to find within it were not going to be precisely the most leading .
As you see, we have a fairly modest terminal with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 along with 512 MB of RAM. In principle it is more than enough for an undemanding use but the 4GB of internal memory are somewhat alarming. Applications and documents can be transferred to a microSD up to 32GB but not all apps can be installed there.
The Nokia X comes with dual SIM slot. In Spain it does not have much pull but in other markets it works very well.
Within its context, the specifications of the Nokia X are more than enough for the ordinary user who wants to enter the world of smartphones but without making a large outlay and, in the future, will consider making the leap to a mobile something More powerful. The camera, on paper, does not predict anything spectacular either, but now that we have reviewed the main characteristics, we take the phone and begin to dissect.
Video analysis of the Nokia X
From the first moment we see, and touch, a Nokia X, the Finns want to make it clear that this smartphone is theirs, despite the operating system that it has inside. The design draws heavily from the aesthetic guides that have been used in the Lumia series and the new Asha.
Nokia's Lumia touch is noticeable at all times.
Very square structure with colored casings, quite attractive and attractive, that give a final appearance of an economic terminal, which does not mean that it is bad. It does not play tricks by introducing metallic inks to make it appear what it is not. It is simple and quite attractive.
In hand it is quite pleasant to the touch. It does not have the silky touch of other terminals but neither does it have the feeling of being a cheap case. The fingers are marked on the back but it is also not a fingerprint magnet if we compare it with smartphones that compete in this range or even some entry or high range.
The Nokia X is perfect for one-handed use without hassle.
As for the size and weight ratio, the Nokia X is very balanced: it is not heavy, it can be picked up and handled with one hand without any problem. The volume and power buttons are well positioned and have no construction issues. The impressions it gives is that it is a fairly solid and compact terminal.
The negative note of the design is put by the straight corners that can sometimes be a little uncomfortable when they lightly press on the palm of the hand. The casing, to remove the battery, the microSD and the microSIM, is easy to remove with your fingers but the piece does not move even a millimeter when we are using it in the normal way.
Once again Nokia shows that it knows how to design terminals and that its errors are few, I am looking at you Lumia 920. It does not deceive with its appearances or promise to be what it is not. Simple and with personality. Too bad the unit we've tested is with the black casing, the most bland of all.
With four inches of screen, Nokia reminds us that there is also interest in small terminals. It is true that in the X family we have an XL-size terminal that we could consider a phablet but the most elementary of all is a smartphone to use with one hand without problems.
Indeed, the glass that covers the screen gives many reflections.
It is easy to reach all points on the screen with one finger. The touch response of the screen is accurate and the IPS LCD panel has an almost full viewing angle. Considering what the competition usually uses, the quality with which it displays the images is quite surprising.
If we come from a Full HD terminal, as is my case but not that of many users of this terminal, we will quickly see that those 233 pixels per inch make us see the odd pixel but, unless we are very picky, it is not a critical detail . The colors are displayed fairly accurately and there are no significant color deviations.
Regarding luminance, we are not surprised that it is such a bright screen. Nokia has always stood out a lot in this section and although it is not the most remarkable thing about the Nokia X, it is appreciated, and it shows, when we are using the terminal with a lot of natural light. The negative note is put by the many reflections when there is a lot of light in the environment.
Again, a solid look and in which Nokia does not limp. The screen behaves well and will not give us great problems when using the mobile, viewing photos, videos or playing. You can not ask for more starting from a price below one hundred euros, although at the top, without going up much, there are very attractive options.
Performance and autonomy
Based on such modest technical specifications, the Nokia X does not promise really spectacular performance. It doesn't lie or speculate, the hardware mix is affordable and performs well with most applications. Of course, do not expect me to do it very fluently or always answering the first time.
It is clear that Nokia X is not the most demanding smartphone and in this sense it can be a disappointment. If we compare it with other terminals of a similar range, it does not stand out for anything in particular, neither for good nor for bad. It is reliable, Nokia still has to polish some details, yes, but nothing great should be expected from it.
Not all is bad news. If there is something in which the Nokia X stands out, it is in the performance it gives opening certain games with 3D elements. It loads them smoothly and with a more than acceptable frame rate. For the ordinary user, who does not ask much of his mobile, his only problem will be the scarce internal memory, which although expandable, does not always allow us to install all the applications that we would like.
If we go to autonomy, we must recognize the Nokia X that despite its small battery is capable of holding up well. With intense use, it is likely that one day we will have to rush more than the account and connect to a charger before time. In normal use, with about four hours of screen on, it is able to last a day without any problem.
Here we must praise the good work of Nokia optimization and remember who this smartphone is for. In this sum of three factors, the resulting product is good and will leave the consumer wanting more, which is a bit the goal of the Finns so that they can later jump to a more powerful terminal. Android or Windows Phone? That is what remains to be seen.
We are going with what is undoubtedly the cornerstone of this analysis: software. When Elop presented the Nokia X at the Mobile World Congress, his message was very clear: we started with an Android operating system, with the experience offered by Nokia and the services of Microsoft. A combination of three different ingredients that combined produce this unique fork of the Google operating system.
The feeling it conveys, especially if we come from Android, is somewhat strange. It is not a shock but the traces of the green android are noticeable at all times: how the settings menu is structured, the messages of the different menus, the share button ... Nokia has kept these bits to assemble its own experience .
It has interesting details such as a top bar that does not finish lowering, as it happens in Android, where we will have the power controls at hand. Where are the notifications? In an accordion menu to the right of the Nokia X main screen.
There is no app drawer, we have a launcher where everything we have installed, widgets included, appears in different panels in the style of Windows Phone. In appearance they are similar, but it does not have that refined touch that the Windows Phone experience does offer. They do not transmit that life that is appreciated in the Microsoft operating system.
The virtual button trilogy results in a back button that only goes back inside the app. If we leave it pressed we return to the start menu and if we want to remove the options menu of an application, if it has it, we have to slide our finger from bottom to top to launch it. At first the change is a little puzzling but the learning curve is good.
As for the pre-installed applications, we see that the presence of Google is limited to being a search engine within the browser that comes by default in the Nokia X. We do not have a Gmail client as such, although we can synchronize our account from the app of mail, and the "substitutes" introduced by the Finns are quite reliable.
The applications work well and do not give problems, in the month that I have been using the mobile I have not yet had to force the closure in any application. The only problem is adapting to them, but once that barrier is overcome, then in the long run there is no problem. As for the software Nokia offers, the highlight is Nokia Here.
A fairly solvent mapping application that serves as a good browser, although the screen size and resolution do not encourage you to be a good GPS for the car. Here the Nokia experience is very noticeable and although it does not shine much, it fulfills its mission without problems.
The big downside in the software is found in the app store. A repository curated by Nokia itself where the catalog is growing but still has some quite significant gaps. For example WhatsApp is not there, and, quoting the public to whom it is addressed, this can be a problem.
It is true that the apk can be installed manually, in fact WhatsApp itself serves it that way on its official page, but facing the average user —without great knowledge and little desire to get complicated— this is a barrier that has to be solved. It is not easy and having to look for widely used applications can be a pain.
Nokia is off to a good start and has a gender repository. However, he still has a long way to go to be competitive and he does not turn against him. Here I really miss the speed of restoring applications that Google has and the ease of installing everything again from scratch.
Nokia with the camera of its low-end terminals has a somewhat unique policy: sometimes they leave the flash aside and choose to simply put the sensor on the back. The Nokia X is one more example of this type of decision and its three-megapixel camera is the section of hardware where the Android of the Finns least looks.
With good light conditions it is capable of taking good photos but as soon as we do not have a powerful light source we see that the camera begins to take a long time to focus and to put a lot of noise in the image. Video recording is also not a prodigy and although it allows us to do it the quality is not good.
It is true that in this category there is no mobile that really stands out in the photographic section, but the experience offered by Nokia cannot be qualified with another adjective that is not functional. Record images and do not encourage us to be creative or to take the phone out of our pocket to take a photo.
The camera software is quite limited and while it is true that we then have a color filter and a simple editing option, it does not offer anything special. Fortunately, then we can expand its use a little with the different applications that are available for Android. In addition to the flash, the front camera is also out of the game. An element that little by little is gaining weight with the fashion of selfies but that, personally, I have not missed.
The beginning, and maybe the end, of a new family for Nokia, Xataka's opinion
When we met with the Nokia team in Latin America in Barcelona, one of the comments we heard in the interview was that the X family, with Android, was going to have a long journey over the years and that these three phones that arrive now (X, X + and XL) are not point experiments.
The Finns have created a very interesting fork in a hybrid of experiences between three different worlds. The terminal meets its humble expectations and is an interesting option for anyone looking for an Android smartphone for less than 100 euros. It does not fool anyone: it is modest, it is not the most leading but it works.
It is an initiation terminal, for those who have not yet tasted a smartphone to date. Those who come from Android will be a little frustrated at first by the changes that Nokia introduces, details and nuances that they had already become accustomed to and now have to relearn. The sensation, applying a metaphor, is when we enter a room that we know but things have been changed so that we do not find them where we suspected they were.
It remains to be seen if the words that we once heard from Nokia's colleagues are real and we will really see an evolution in this bastard son that Microsoft looks at with some suspicion. It is taking the first steps, it has yet to mature but in the league in which it competes, it is an interesting terminal for anyone looking to take the leap and park their feature phone once and for all.
7,3Design7 screen Performance7.5 Camera6.5 Software7.5 Autonomy7.5
- Comfortable in hand with a simple but careful design
- Good autonomy despite its somewhat short battery
- A different option within the input range
- Very fair camera
- Nokia needs to improve the entire software experience
- Lack of apps in the Nokia store